Michael J. Gavala III Joins LARC Board of Directors

Lee Association of Remarkable Citizens (LARC) announces Michael J. Gavala III has joined its board of directors. Established in 1954, LARC’s mission is to empower and support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families to reach their full potential.

Chef Gavala has more than 40 years of restaurant and catering experience. After attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., he started his first catering business and gourmet market in New Jersey. He moved to Fort Myers in 1994 and became the owner/operator of Sasse il Pizzaiuolo. Gavala joined FineMark National Bank & Trust and was their corporate food and beverage director for more than ten years. Partnering with his wife, Chef Karen Gavala, he created G3 Catering, the most sought-after caterer in the area. In 2017, Gavala, with two partners, built Misty Morning Barn at Clutch Farms on a 35-acre parcel off Corkscrew Road in Fort Myers. The rustic barn venue is open from October through May for weddings and special events. Starting in September 2021, G3 Catering will take the reins of the Burroughs Home and Gardens. In addition to focusing on weddings and events, G3 is planning many musical nights on the river and social gatherings.

Gavala has been a long-time supporter of many local charities, including LARC, Community Cooperative, The United Way, Special Equestrians, and Golisano Children’s Hospital. He and Karen have two children. His son Michael is an adult with high functioning autism.

“The Gavalas have been generous supporters of LARC through their business, G3 Catering, and have been instrumental in several successful fundraising events,” said Angela Katz, LARC’s executive director. “As a member of our board, Michael can offer the unique perspective of a parent of a young adult with an intellectual and developmental disability and as a business owner. He will also be active in guiding our new culinary training program. We are thankful to have him join our team.”

“I am honored to join the LARC board of directors. It is truly something I believe in,” said Gavala. “LARC has a long history of empowering individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to reach their full potential. I am committed to that legacy and to help LARC grow to provide more opportunities for people with disabilities in the future.”

LARC is a training center for success for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. LARC serves more than 300 individuals annually, and participants range in age from 14 to 78. In addition, LARC offers vocational training, community residential services, youth programs, and a vast array of other state-of-the-art community inclusion services on a full-time, year-round basis. LARC’s main campus is located at 2570 Hanson Street, Fort Myers. LARC also operates two Residential Group Homes located in Cape Coral and North Fort Myers.

To learn more about LARC, visit www.larcleecounty.org or contact Angela Katz, Executive Director, at 239-334-6285 x210 or angelakatz@larcleecounty.org.